AfriForum weighs in on Mkhwebane's first 100 days

Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Cape Town - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane spent most of her first 100 days in office distancing herself from her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, AfriForum said in a report released on Monday.

The civil rights group said it found this incomprehensible. Its findings were contained in a short analysis based on media reports on Mkhwebane, who took office on October 17.

“Incomprehensible, because Advocate Madonsela not only managed to make her office known to and almost famous with the public, but she also found her way into most South Africans’ hearts and minds.”

In presenting herself as Madonsela’s opposite, or distancing herself from her, was creating unnecessary headwind before the start of the race, the lobby group said.

Although her plans to be more inclusive of people on the fringes of society were admirable, she should not forget that she served the public at large.

It was concerned about a report that she instructed staff to change the office television channel from eNCA to ANN7. The latter is owned by the Gupta family, subjects of one of the office's most controversial reports. But it felt this would be acceptable if she was merely trying to give her staff a broader range of opinions.

Her decision to ask for a police probe into the leaking of the audio recording of Madonsela’s interview with President Jacob Zuma could have been handled differently, AfriForum said.

“When accused of laying charges against her predecessor, she engaged in a semantic game, claiming that she had merely opened a case to investigate the leaking of audio tapes after having received complaints from the Presidency and the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly.”

It made her seem “somewhat out of touch with the public”. Afriforum believed that some, if not most people would regard the leaking of the tapes as a necessary evil in an attempt at transparency.

AfriForum said the true test would be her first investigation report.

Read the report here



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